Xiao Chen nodded. “If you saw the Azure Emperor’s saber light, you would not be this surprised.”
Mo Chen entered deep thought. She watched this headless body wither as the nine-colored Buddhist light slowly faded. She asked, “What should we do with this headless body?”
Xiao Chen thought for a moment before replying, “Just leave it. When the power of faith has been all returned, it will naturally vanish.”
After saying that, he stood up, preparing to leave.
Just at this moment, something strange suddenly occurred. A figure quickly descended from the hole above. Xiao Chen’s eyes were sharp, and he saw everything clearly. It was a Buddha head.
Xiao Chen’s expression changed slightly, but he did not panic. He placed his right hand on the saber hilt and instantly stepped in front of Mo Chen.
The Buddha head hovered in the air, exuding an aura of antiquity. It stared at Xiao Chen like it was trying to see through all of his secrets.
It said in a hoarse voice, “Indeed, it is you, the fellow with the bloodline of the Azure Emperor.”
Xiao Chen did not answer the Buddha head. He instantly drew the Lunar Shadow Saber and sent a resplendent saber light at the Buddha head with lightning speed, lighting up the dark cave.
He was already certain that this evil Buddha was not some benevolent thing. It was clearly antagonistic to him. In that case, there was no need to leave it alive.
Just as the saber light was about to strike the Buddha head, the headless body suddenly moved and blocked Xiao Chen’s saber light.
Saber lights shot out relentlessly. Moving continuously, Xiao Chen attacked with all his might, sending nine attacks and chopping the body shielding the head into pieces.
The Buddhist light shooting into the clouds stopped, along with the spiritual rain that covered the entire island.
“How unfortunate that this is not the Immortal Epoch! Otherwise, I would be able to deal with someone like you by just opening my mouth. Keep on living well. When you undergo your Great Tribulation of wind and fire, I will definitely come to return the saber strike that the Azure Emperor gave me.”
The head of the Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva turned into a beam of light and flew away after that cold declaration.
Naturally, Xiao Chen was not willing to let it go so easily.
The other party was like a ticking time bomb. The moment it regained its true body, it would pose a significant danger to Xiao Chen.
That aside, the other party also knew many secrets of the ancient Buddhist Realm and even some inside information about the Azure Emperor. For just this alone, Xiao Chen would not let it go no matter what.
However, the Buddha head evidently came prepared. After it verified Xiao Chen’s identity, it used a Secret Technique to escape, not leaving a trail for him to follow.
When Xiao Chen emerged from the cave, he did not discover any traces of the Buddha head, only some spatial fluctuations.
“You did not manage to catch it?” Mo Chen asked when she flew out of the cave.
Xiao Chen sighed and replied, “It used a Secret Technique to tear space open. Short of being a Martial Emperor, there is no way for me to give chase.”
Mo Chen consoled, “There is no need to rush. Clearly, the Azure Emperor greatly injured him ten thousand years ago. Now, he is just like a stray dog. Even if he is an ancient bodhisattva, he will not be a great threat to you.”
Xiao Chen was indeed in no rush. He only felt that the other party knew some of what really happened behind the scenes regarding the Azure Emperor back them. If he could capture the Buddha head and interrogate it, he might gain a lot.
Why did the Azure Emperor go to the six paths of reincarnation back then? Even the old Item Spirit in the Azure Dragon Palace probably did not know, but that fellow might know something.
This was Xiao Chen’s main concern.
The mysterious Buddha head suddenly appeared above a desolate island. Then, it made a spitting motion, sending out a weak beam of light from its mouth.
If one looked carefully, one would discover that this weak light was a tiny person giving off Buddhist halo light. If one’s eyes were sharp enough, one would immediately realize that this tiny person was the Bloody Monk, Zhuang Zhenghe.
“Master, you saw it already. When will I be able to recover my physical body?” Zhuang Zhenghe asked quickly with a hint of anxiety in his tone.
The Buddha head coldly replied, “It is just an ordinary physical body that you can regain at any moment. This is just a small matter; there is no need to be overly anxious. It won’t be a big problem.”
Zhuang Zhenghe clearly feared this mysterious Buddha head. Pandering to it, he nodded immediately. “Master is right. Where should we go now? The foundation that we laid with much difficulty on Black Flame Island is completely wiped out. That’s too unfortunate.”
The head of the Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva said indifferently, “It is just a small island. You did not see the time when Buddhism was at its peak. There were billions of believers, all of them worshiping together. That small island cannot compare to it at all.”
However, a strange light flashed in the head’s eyes as it thought of something. “I forgot. This place is an abandoned land. How could it be restored to its previous heights? It is better to kill the Azure Dragon King and take his Luck before leaving this place. That way, I can return to the Buddhist sect and ascend to Buddhahood.”
“Master, where are you going?” Zhuang Zhenghe asked curiously. Those words confused him.
“Don’t ask about what you should not.”
The Buddha head snorted coldly. Suddenly, a handful of cultivators arrived at the island. The Buddha head immediately shifted its attention, its eyes turning scarlet. Scarlet bodhi flowers manifested, and the scene of the ancient Buddhist sect appeared in the depths of its eyes. Then, it opened its mouth and sucked.
Green clumps of light came from the heads of those cultivators, who were Inferior Grade Martial Sages, and entered into the Buddha head’s mouth. Then, the bodies of these cultivators fell to the ground.
“Go and pick one. Dharmic Reincarnation. There is only one chance. This is also your final chance.”
When Zhuang Zhenghe heard this, he rejoiced as he quickly flew over. Then, the Buddhist head started reciting some scriptures, making ancient Buddhist texts appear from its mouth. Amid beams of Buddhist light, one of the corpses on the ground stood up.
As Zhuang Zhenghe underwent the Dharmic Reincarnation ritual, Xiao Chen and Mo Chen strolled around Black Flame Island, although, strictly speaking, their activity could not really be considered strolling.
With Zhuang Zhenghe and his group gone, Heavenly Star Island definitely needed to take over control of Black Flame Island. It was a good thing to check up on the island’s condition first.
“Big Brother Xiao, this Black Flame Island has a peak Earth Flame, the Black Flame. This is the best place to build a refining pavilion. I would like for my clansmen to move here to create a peak refining pavilion.”
Xiao Chen had heard about the situation earlier. Before this, due to the Seven Distinguished Dragon Marquises, the Mo Clan mostly stayed at a desolate island outside Heavenly Star Island’s territory. Few of them came to Heavenly Star Island.
Now that all the opposing factions near Heavenly Star Island were all cleared out, there was no reason for the Mo Clan not to come in.
Furthermore, the Mo Clan was a refining clan in the first place. Previously, their fame spread throughout the Heavenly Starry Ocean. The Mo Clan had many refiners and the secret refining techniques passed down from their ancestors. As long as the clan had enough resources and an ideal location, it would not have difficulty establishing a refining pavilion on the same level as a Holy Land.
Suddenly, Xiao Chen became somewhat distracted. He thought about something even further away: his clansmen in the distant Sky Dome Realm.
Never mind, it is still too early for me to think about this. Relocating the Azure Emperor’s descendants back to the Kunlun Realm is much more complicated than moving the Mo Clan. There are also many other unpredictable variables.
It is better to wait until the Heavenly Dragon City is built before going to the lower realm and relocating the Xiao Clan, bringing it back to where it belongs.
Unless Xiao Chen could guarantee his clan’s safety, it would be hard for him to relax.
No matter how worried Xiao Chen was, Martial Emperors could not go to the Sky Dome Realm. With the Supreme Sky Sect branch and the mysterious Great Qin Nation’s Royal Court there, it would be safer for his clan to remain where it was.
“Big Brother Xiao, what’s wrong?” Mo Chen asked out of concern when she noticed Xiao Chen’s distraction; it was like he was thinking about something else.
Xiao Chen recovered his wits and replied, “Everything’s fine. Is the transportation formation on our Heavenly Star Island capable of connecting to the lower realm?”
Mo Chen said, “It can. The Martial God Palace has transportation formations in the lower realm as well. However, that kind of transportation requires tremendous resources.”
“I see.” Resources were not a problem. Now, it was much more convenient for Xiao Chen if he wanted to go to the Sky Dome Realm.
After chatting for a while, the two returned on the chariot. After parting, Xiao Chen headed back to the summit of the highest peak and started on comprehending the many benefits that came with advancing to Great Perfection quasi-Emperor.
He understood the principle of not doubting the people one used. That way, he would be able to relax and not put pressure on others.
Mo Chen assisted Lan Shaobai with taking care of the people of the ruined Heavenly Star City. She also needed to manage the many resources obtained from the Dragon’s Gate Treasure Trove. Moreover, the two of them needed to evaluate the merits and mete out rewards for those who fought in the battle.
Seven days later, Xiao Chen and Elder Qin sat at the summit of the mountain and discussed the Dao over tea, sharing their experiences in Martial Cultivation.
Elder Qin had already remained stuck at Great Perfection quasi-Emperor for several decades. Xiao Chen could learn many things from him.
“Great Perfection quasi-Emperor is the cultivation grade that can truly be considered the start of forging the bridge to Emperor. With a Heavenly Seal, it is much easier to use the Heavenly Laws. There is a great difference compared to Small Perfection quasi-Emperor. Of course, you are the exception.” Elder Qin laughed somewhat helplessly as he took a sip of tea.
“Restored after being broken. Before advancing to quasi-Emperor, you accumulated ten thousand Heavenly Sage Laws. I can’t think of anyone else as horrifying at all, even stretching back into the past.”
Elder Qin took in a deep breath and continued, “I’ve stagnated at quasi-Emperor for hundreds of years, and even so, I’ve accumulated only three thousand Heavenly Laws, not even one-third of yours.”
Xiao Chen put down his teacup and smiled. “Elder Qin is being too humble. Elder Qin’s Heavenly Laws are much denser than mine. The amount of the power of the world that you can drive is no less than mine.”
Xiao Chen was not really being humble. Elder Qin’s cultivation was much more profound than his. In density of Heavenly Laws, Xiao Chen, a newly advanced Great Perfection quasi-Emperor, was far from comparable.
Xiao Chen’s only advantage was the quantity of his Heavenly Laws and their purity, due to the Purple Thunder Divine Incantation’s constant refinement.
“Elder Qin, how exactly does one condense a soul for the Heavenly Seal? Can you tell Junior a little more?” Xiao Chen sought advice humbly.
Elder Qin took a sip of tea and smiled. “There are many mysteries with the cultivation of Small Perfection quasi-Emperor and Great Perfection quasi-Emperor. However, in the end, resources are what matters. Without sufficient resources, one can only use time. It is not too difficult and can be considered rather stable.
“However, in reality, ninety percent of quasi-Emperors will remain stuck at peak Great Perfection quasi-Emperor, unable to improve further. This is because they are unable to condense a soul for their Heavenly Seal. Barring the unexpected, this old man will probably remain stuck at this stage too.”
Xiao Chen frowned and asked, “Is it that difficult?”
Elder Qin nodded heavily and replied, “This hurdle has nothing to do with resources. Even with all the resources in the world, you can only rely on your own comprehension to condense a soul for your Heavenly Seal. Simply put, you have to infuse your own soul into the Heavenly Seal, to turn it into the vague form of the Heart of an Emperor.”
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